Once again it’s time for the weekly Sunday Brunch with ZA Maxfield! This week, we have one awesome friend joining us! Please welcome P.D. Singer!
This week’s question is: “What advice would you give your 13-year-old self, if you could?“
***BIG NEWS*** From now on, instead of offering a weekly prize, ZAM will be giving out a $20.00 Amazon gift card so readers can use it for the ebook (or other Amazon purchase) of their choice once a month to anyone who has commented on her blog that month. All you have to do is comment below for your chance to win!
Last month’s winner is Carissa! Congrats! You should be receiving an email from me shortly.
Without further ado, let’s hear from P.D.!
Thirteen. A teenager, standing woman tall and wracked with desires hard to articulate. Wanting to get out into the world and shake it ‘til it rattled, and then run back into a haven decorated with plush animals. It’s a rugged time.
A time for leaning to think critically, and learning to speak both loudly enough to be heard and softly enough to be listened to. It’s a balance. You’ll find it.
So many things come easily: you swallow the classics and whip through the math. You do so many things well, or well enough. But the only that makes you work for your success are physical, and then only when you have someone to chase, or a group to live up to, a reward of some sort, and don’t have to work too hard.
What I want to tell you from across the years is to master your body, so that crossing a log fallen across the stream is a minor concern, not potential disaster. So that running a couple of miles is actually preferable to an hour spent in an Iron Maiden.
This is going to take practice. Developing stamina and balance doesn’t happen overnight. Sweating is okay. It’s very nice that you can march all the hours a drum corps practices, but it’s not actually enough to mark time and swing the flag. Get out there and run. Climb the trees and stand on your head. Dance and do gymnastics. Don’t just bury your nose in another book.
Yes, it will take practice. Yes, you risked getting laughed at. You tried once and gave up back then, when your fledgling backbend drew snickers for thrusting your overlarge bust into the air. You let falling on the ice drive you away from the rink where the girls (who’d had lessons since they were six) skated circles around your splatted form and giggled without helping you up.
Yeah, they were brats, but the one that gave them power to stop you—was you.
Don’t give them that power. Take your own.
Don’t let them keep you from mastering your body now. You’re going to wear this flesh for a lifetime.
These are ideas that echo through my latest novel, A New Man. Chad was a swimmer who switched to fencing when his body embarrassed him. A fully clothed and covered activity suited him better for a lot of reasons, not least because everyone around him was covered too. He practiced hard enough to gain a scholarship in the sport, in spite of his body actively working against him and derision from others, embodied in the secondary character of Andre.
Those long ago giggles echoed when I wrote the interactions between Chad and Andre. Time, perspective, and a defined plot drove those scenes. Some of them go very badly for Chad. But not all of them.
Did I rewrite some history when I wrote Chad’s fencing scenes? A little. More that I made Chad take the advice I would have given to my thirteen year old self. Chad’s better than I was at taking his own power.
Watch out, Andre.
Buy Links for A New Man: Dreamspinner Press
And here’s a little blurb/teaser:
Senior year of college is for studying, partying, and having fun before getting serious about life. Instead, Chad’s days are filled with headaches and exhaustion, and his fencing skills are getting worse with practice, not better. Then there’s his nonexistent love life, full of girls he’s shunted to the friend zone. Is he asexual? Gay?
Grad student Warren Douglas could be out clubbing, but his roommate is better company, even without kisses. He’s torn up watching Chad suffer, gobbling ibuprofen and coming home early on Friday nights. If Chad weren’t straight, Warren would keep him up past midnight. They’re great as friends. Benefits might answer Chad’s questions.
A brief encounter with lab rats reveals Chad’s illness—he needs surgery, STAT, and can’t rely on his dysfunctional parents for medical decisions. Warren’s both trustworthy and likely to get overruled—unless they’re married. “You can throw me back later,” Warren says, and he may throw himself back after his husband turns out moody and hard to get along with, no matter how much fun his new sex drive is. Surgery turns Chad into a new man, all right…
…but Warren fell in love with the old one.
~ * ~ * ~
Thank you to P.D. Singer for joining us this week!